Yashwant Sinha

Yashwant Sinha (born November 6, 1937, Patna) is an Indian politician and a former finance minister of India (1990-1991 under PM Chandra Shekhar. and March 1998 - July 2002 under PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee) and foreign minister (July 2002 - May 2004) in Atal Bihari Vajpayee's cabinet. He is a senior leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party.

Early life


Born and educated in Patna, Bihar, Sinha received his Masters Degree in Political Science in 1958. Subsequently, he taught the subject at the University of Patna till 1960.

Bureaucratic career


Yashwant Sinha joined the Indian Administrative Service in 1960 and spent over 24 years holding important posts during his service tenure. He served as Sub-Divisional Magistrate and District Magistrate for 4 years. He was Under Secretary and Deputy Secretary in the Finance Department of the Bihar Government for 2 years after which he worked in the Ministry of Commerce as Deputy Secretary to the Government of India.

From 1971 to 1973, he was First Secretary (Commercial) in the Indian Embassy, Bonn, Germany. Subsequently, he worked as Consul General of India in Frankfurt from 1973 to 1974. After working for over seven years in this field, he acquired experience in matters relating to foreign trade and India's relations with the European Economic Community. Thereafter, he worked in the Department of Industrial Infrastructure, Government of Bihar and in the Ministry of Industry, government of India dealing with foreign industrial collaborations, technology imports, intellectual property rights and industrial approvals. As Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Surface Transport, Government of India from 1980 to 1984, his main responsibilities were road transport, ports and shipping.

Political career


Janata Dal

Yashwant Sinha resigned from the Indian Administrative Service in 1984 and joined active politics as a member of the Janata Party. He was appointed All-India General secretary of the party in 1986 and was elected Member of the Rajya Sabha in 1988.

When the Janata Dal was formed in 1989, he was appointed General Secretary of the party. He worked as Minister of Finance from November, 1990 to June 1991 in Mr. Chandra Shekhar's Cabinet.

BJP

He became the National Spokesperson of the BJP in June, 1996. He was appointed finance minister in March, 1998. He was foreign minister from that date until May 22, 2004, when a new government took office after parliamentary elections. He represented Hazaribagh Constituency in Bihar (now Jharkhand), in the Lok Sabha. However in an amazing development, Yashwant Sinha was defeated from Hazaribagh seat in the elections of May, 2004. He reentered Parliament in 2005 as Rajya Sabha member from Jharkhand and is now a Vice President of the BJP.

Finance minister


Yashwant Sinha was the finance minister until July 1, 2002, when he exchanged jobs with foreign minister Jaswant Singh. Sinha, during his tenure, was forced to roll back some of his government's major policy initiatives for which he was much criticised . Still, Sinha is widely credited for pushing through several major reform measures that put the Indian economy on a firm growth trajectory. Among them are lowering of real interest rates, introducing tax deduction for mortgage interest, freeing up the telecommunications sector, helping fund the National Highways Authority, and deregulating the petroleum industry. Sinha is also known for being the 1st Finance Minister to break the 53 year tradition of presenting the Indian budget at 5p local time, a practice held over from British Rule days that sought to present the Indian budget at a time convenient to the British Parliament (1130a GMT) rather than India's Parliament.

Sinha has written a comprehensive account of his years as Finance Minister titled "'Confessions of a Swadeshi Reformer'".

Personal life


Yashwant Sinha has a wide range of interests including reading, gardening and meeting people. He is widely travelled and has led a number of political and social delegations. He played a leading role in many negotiations on behalf of the country.

Yashwant Sinha has 3 children, two sons and a daughter with his wife, Nilima, a well-known writer of children's books.

Sinha's daughter, Sharmila, is the eldest and is married to an Indian diplomat. They have one son, Devansh, and are currently in Malaysia. Sinha's eldest son, Jayant, lives in Boston with his wife, Punita, and their two sons: Rishabh and Aashir. Jayant was a Partner in McKinsey & Company and is now a Partner in a global hedge fund, Courage Capital. Punita is a Senior Managing Director at the Blackstone Group. Sinha's second son, Sumant Sinha works with the Aditya Birla Group in Mumbai and is the CEO of Aditya Birla Retail. His wife Vaishali is an Investment Banker and heads Daiwa Securities Investment Banking Business in India. They have a daughter and a son - Tarushi and Siddhant.

References


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yashwant_Sinha

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